Suzuki Burgman Fuel Cell gets EU Approval

Hydrogen-powered scooter closer to production

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Mar. 09, 2011
Suzuki is one step closer to bringing a fuel-cell scooter to market.

The European Union has granted Whole Vehicle Type Approval to the Suzuki Burgman Fuel-Cell scooter. Whole Vehicle Type Approval effectively means the Burgman Fuel-Cell scooter has been declared safe for use on public roads. The Burgman is the first fuel-cell vehicle, two wheeled or otherwise, to receive WVTA certification from the E.U.

Since the Burgman Fuel-Cell is still a prototype, Suzuki had the option of seeking Single Vehicle Approval. The difference between Single and Whole approval is that Whole approval allows the vehicle or components of the vehicle to enter production and sale within Europe without further testing.

Suzuki Burgman Fuel Cell

With WVTA qualification, Suzuki can begin trials on public roads in Europe. Suzuki is already testing the Burgman Fuel-Cell in England where the Intelligent Energy, the co-developer of the vehicle’s fuel-cell system, is based.

“Suzuki Motor Corporation is pleased to announce that the Suzuki Burgman Fuel Cell Scooter has become the world’s first fuel cell vehicle to earn Whole Vehicle Type Approval in the European Union,” says Osamu Suzuki, chairman and chief executive officer, Suzuki Motor Corporation. “Our aim is to make eco-friendly fuel cell scooters increasingly common in Europe, in line with the establishment of hydrogen filling stations and other necessary infrastructure.”

Suzuki Burgman Fuel Cell

The Suzuki Burgman Fuel-Cell scooter was first unveiled at the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show. The fuel-cell Burgman uses both a battery and an air-cooled polymer-electrolyte fuel cell and a hydrogen tank. The fuel cell produces electricity through a chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen with water being the only emission. The electricity powers the Burgman’s AC synchronous motor.

During acceleration, both the fuel cell and the battery are used to power the Burgman’s motor. The battery gets recharged during deceleration. While cruising, the fuel cell provides most of the power while the battery recharges or discharges as required. The fuel cell also charges the battery when idling.

Suzuki Burgman Fuel Cell

According to Suzuki, a fully charged lithium-ion battery and a 70 MPa high-pressure hydrogen tank will give the Burgman a range of 350km (217.5 miles) at a constant speed of 30 kph (18.6 mph).

Suzuki has been working on fuel cell motorcycles since 2006. The hydrogen-powered Crosscage concept was introduced at the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show, two years before the Burgman Fuel-Cell was unveiled.